This is what winning looks like, Sadbres.
The Barrister & The Apologist
When watching your favorite team gets this hard, you need to find ways to make it fun. For most of us, this requires a great deal of alcohol, but here at the Deeg, recording podcasts makes it extra special. And so it was that the other night the Barrister and I stood outside our local pub and discussed a wide variety of topics while the Sadbres played not tough against the Flyers. (Note to Darcy: Just because there's a fight, it doesn't mean you played tough.)
Ok, so we mostly talked about basketball. Discussing the Sabres for more than 30 seconds gives us anxiety attacks at this point. But there are other reasons to listen too. We briefly discuss the brawl at the World Baseball Classic. Our ol' pal, Joe, stops by (he writes for a different blog, I can't remember what it's called). And there are highlights of our Rockupation of the Prudential Center last Thursday.
All in all… it's pretty mediocre.
But hey, it's Tuesday! What the hell else do you have to do?
or just stream directly below.
Now you're in Neeeeeewark! These streets have an 8 pm cuuuurfew, I hope you know kuuung-fu!
The Buffalo Sabres play in New Jersey tonight. I live in Hoboken, New Jersey, only a short path train ride away. Therefore, I am going to watch the Buffalo Sabres in New Jersey tonight. Simple, right?
Not really. I almost wasn't going. In fact, with my contempt towards the Buffalo Sabres' players and organization at an all-time high I had decided that unless a friend of mine could hook me up with with free or heavily discounted tickets, then I was going to sit this one out. The reasoning was simple really; I'm attempting to horde all the money I can for my wedding and honeymoon in June, I'm coming up on a huge moment in my personal career that has me working crazy long hours, and to be completely honest, this team gives me weekly aneurysms, so why should I give a shit?
Then a couple of days ago a little voice inside my head said, "Hey, you miserable sonuvabitch! You like HOCKEY! You love it actually! GO! You know what else? You love hanging out with your friends AND watching hockey! You know what else you like even more? Hanging out with your friends, drinking heavily on a weeknight, AAAAAAAAND WATCHING HOCKEY!!!!"
The voice inside my head (let's call him Bookshelf Jr.) was totally accurate in his assumptions. I DO love all those things! (Except this Frank guy that's coming, I really hate him) So I went on ticketmaster, found a seat near the rest of the DGWU crew (& friends), ponied up a measly $33 bucks and now I'll be on my way to what will be a fun-filled night with old friends, new friends, and probably a couple of other randos I barely know (and again, Frank).
What's my point? Well besides being excited for tonight and not feeling motivated at work whatsoever, that's a given. I believe it would be to just enjoy sports as best you can even though #becauseitsbuffalo is a constant hashtag in our lives of sporting sadness (which coincidentally will be the name of the MLS expansion franchise in Buffalo). I have found myself miserable from sports way too often the last few years, and rightfully so, but sometimes you have to push through all that shit and just have fun because that's the point, isn't it? I like to think it is. I also hope this rambling stream of consciousness makes sense.
So bring it on Devils fans, bring it on Sabres under-achievers, and bring it on 5 am Friday wake-up because I'm ready for anything you throw at me!
Wait....Enroth is starting? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
eight scotches deep
It sure has been a while since I dusted off my gloves and took the media to task for its latest absurdity in the sports world. Sometimes, these venomous hit jobs are directed at The Network - an easy enough target, what with the willingness to sit on apparent evidence of child molestation at Syracuse, only to run the story without even giving the authorities the opportunity to vet that evidence and find that, in sum, it was demonstrably false. And sometimes, these hit jobs are directed at Buffalo sports media - also an easy target, what with the spelling errors, the apparent desire to merely yuk it up with a failing, entrenched hockey coach and the pathetic derision of a blogger community which has arguably provided better and more insightful sports analysis over the past couple years. (Not here at the Deeg, of course. We are more than happy to be the slime scraped out of the bottom of the barrel, presented as food for your more carnal cravings. It's what we do.)
One of the things I've noticed about Buffalo sports fans is that they can tend to believe that their town is getting jobbed at every opportunity. It's certainly no surprise, given the history, but it can leave people with a lingering sense that, in essence, whatever we get in Buffalo is a class below what everyone else gets in other cities. Sports teams? Inferior from top to bottom. Local theater and music? Undeveloped and of poor quality. Government? Corrupt and ineffective in a way unseen throughout America. Schools? Underfunded and forgotten. Cheerleaders? Sixes instead of tens. (This one may be right).
Some of this is true. In many ways, other cities do have it better. In a lot of ways, though, Buffalo has the exact same problems as other cities, but has convinced itself that the grass is greener in New York City, in Boston, in D.C., in Philly. I've found this to be especially true when it comes to how we digest our local sports media in Western New York. There always seems to be a lingering sense that Bucky and Harrington and Hamilton and Sully are on a lower tier than the guys who cover sports in the big markets. With the internet, though, we can verify that this is simply not true, and never was this more apparent to me than during the post-game presser following last Friday's Rangers-Devils Game 6.
Dear God, it was brutal.
So, in keeping with the overlap between "media hit piece" and "mailing it in," here is the transcript of the questions asked to Rangers coach John Tortorella following Game 6. My thoughts are in italics.
Sad. And adorable.
The Barrister & The Scizz
It was a rainy, misty, shitty day in New York City on Thursday. The perfect setting for our second installment of Infinite Sadness, one of the peripheral cogs in the Deeg Podcast Industries. Scizz, still sitting in the solitude of his sobriety, and I, still sitting in my own sweat and overworked misery, got together via Skype to discuss some of the more recent sports news that makes us infinitely sad.
While the arc of our conversation is often tangential, we touch on the NHL playoffs and how it's been to watch hockey suddenly get big in the big market of NYC, and then have a reflective discussion on how unsurprised we are to see that the Buffalo Sabres have not invited us and our stockpile of dick jokes to attend next month's Blogger Summit. Hint: It's Scizz's fault. Second Hint: It's also Alex Sulzer's fault.
This was a ton of fun to make, as always, and includes musical interludes from Incubus, Ben Folds Five and Biggie Smalls. Enjoy by streaming or downloading below.
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Fist pump this
I'm going to keep this one short because 1) I'm sick. 2) I have very limited time to write this. 3) Even after a win, it is difficult to write about this Buffalo Sabres team.
I attended last's night OT shootout win against the also struggling New Jersey Devils, and much like I did last time I visited the Prudential Center
, these are my thoughts from the game. Please note, just like the previous post, I have not checked box scores, watched any highlights, or spoke to anybody about the game besides those I attended with, so some of this might seem way off the mark. However, I don't get to see many games out here in tri-state, so suck it up and keep reading.
There are a few facts about last night that I must start with. First off, the seats were free. Otherwise, I probably would not have paid to watch this team, because, as you all know, they are dumpsters on skates. Next, the seats were very good. I don't mention this to brag (ok, maybe a little), but rather to point out that I normally don't sit this close to the ice, and some of the observations I'm about to make were possible because of the location. I would have taken pictures to show you where I was, but naturally I forgot my camera, and my cell phone is from 1976 and lacks clear picture technology. Finally, I missed a good portion of the game. The person in our group who had the seats didn't get out of work until 7pm, so we sat down with only five minutes left in the first period, and during the third period, none of the members of my party had eaten since lunch, so we enjoyed most of the third period from the "Goal Bar". Clever name, huh? We could still see the ice from this spot, but I will admit that I was slightly distracted. Moving on to "mail it in" format.
-As mentioned before, I sat down at right about the 5 minute mark, and immediately saw Matt Ellis fire the puck up the ice to Gerbe, who in turn put it in front of the net for Jordan Leopold. I believe this is what happened, as I said, I have not watched highlights or checked box scores. At first, I thought Ellis had skated down and put a rebound in, which of course sent me into a frenzy, but I quickly realized my mistake. Either way, in my first live game with the new Ellis jersey on, seeing him get a point that quickly had me in a pretty good mood.
-Which brings me back to Matt Ellis. Everyone is probably sick of me talking about him, but I will say one honest thing about him. He falls down a lot. I mean, A LOT. It isn't Michael Ryan levels yet, but when he digs for pucks he throws his body into so much that the poor guy just topples over. Noticed a good amount of this last night.
-Ville Leino is SOFT. I recognize that he is having an awful season and looks like one of the biggest FA busts in recent memory, but seeing him up close really revealed the problem. He looks like he is warming up before a pick-up game with a bunch of his buddies. Nothing but half-ass skating to pucks, lazy passes, and slow decision making. GARBAGE. It is so obvious that he flat out doesn't give a shit. I hope he proves all of us wrong, and it is nothing more than a mega slump, but I doubt it. He is the NHL's Mike James. (Kudos to the NBA fans that get that hysterical, yet spot on reference)
-And while I'm on the topic of Leino, how infuriating is it to see him skate with Stafford and Boyes. It's the "Oh hey, we all make $4 million a year, and if you combine our stats it equals what our individual production SHOULD be". Every time I see them on the ice together I pray for the world's first, triple lightning strike into an indoor arena. Put Weber and Sekera on the ice and let's make it a five-way.
-Derek Roy needs to be traded for the sole purpose of keeping members of the Deeg out of jail. Watching him turn the puck over, get pushed to the ice over and over, and taking absolutely ridiculous penalties that cost your team games is enough to make me....I won't even say it for future legal reasons. Trade him now, Darcy. For anything. Do the right thing.
-Luke Adam was beyond winded every single time he finished a shift. I'm wondering if his cut in minutes has anything to do with conditioning. He started the year on the top line and has seen his minutes dwindle down, so maybe the young guy is having a hard time adjusting to the full-time NHL schedule. Or maybe Lindy has no idea what he is doing anymore with all of his constant line changesAHTHANKYOUVERYMUCH!
-Why all the negative? The Sabres did win after all! Alright, so on to the things I liked....
-Ryan Miller looked solid. Again, maybe at home he looked pedestrian, but in comparison to the last time I watched him in Jersey, he appeared much more confident; like old school Miller who owned the Ice and could take over a game. I have no clue whose fault the first goal was, but he dominated in the shootout after getting beat by Kovalchuck.
-Nathan Gerbe and Jason Pominville are incredible to watch right now. I think both are taking these losses personally and it has been fueling them to go 'run-through-a-brick-wall' hard. Gerbe always skates hard, but you can tell the little guy REALLY hates to lose, and unlike other douchebags who appear unfazed (Stafford, Roy, Leino, Boyes, almost everybody else on the roster), he is taking it in his hands to motivate this team to play harder, just like he did in last year's 2nd half stretch. Pominville on the other hand, must be so fed up with being a captain that nobody responds to that he has taken it upon himself to do EVERYTHING. Including Vanek, nobody was looked better in a Sabres uniform than Pommers during these losses. I understand that isn't saying much, and it definitely is not a good thing that the team is most likely not responding to their captain, but at least he isn't giving up either. (I'm looking at you Rivet.) So how fitting was it that the two goals needed to win the game came from these two?
-At the start of the second period, my buddy Bill, who is not a big hockey fan, turned and asked me who the Sabres best player was. Without hesitation I blurted out "Thomas Vanek. Number 26. He's on the ice now." That is the first time in many seasons where that answer was not an immediate "Ryan Miller". Yes, it is obvious right now, but it's just odd to vocalize that for the first time....ever. Here's hoping this game catapults our goalie back to #1.
-The Christian Ehrhoff deal is not a bust. I was one of the first people to cast stones at him for his defensive liabilities, but the weeks leading to his concussion, and now the subsequent games that have followed, have shown me that he cares about winning and at many times looks like the best defender on the ice. I believe this will be one FA signing that Terry Pegula will not regret.
-Finally, if you were wondering how the wings were at the "Goal Bar", let me just tell you they may be the best tasting arena wings I've ever had. With that being said, they are also the smallest wings I have ever had in my life. It was seriously comical. An order of half a dozen wings from Buffalo is probably bigger in mass than an entire bucket of these things. Tiny in stature, but they packed a punch. I called them Gerbe wings! Get it?!? See what I did there? Alright, I'm a fucking idiot so I'll shut up now.
Until next time, follow me on twitter @TheScizz
, enjoy the worthless NHL All-Star game, and let's all hope and pray that this win gives these underachievers the spark they need. Go Sabres.
Not surprisingly, I saw none of this last night.
Living in the tri-state area, I don't get many chances to see my "beloved" Sabres play live, so when the opportunity arises, I usually jump on it. When I lived among the five boroughs of NYC, it was usually just for Ranger games at the Garden, and occasionally a road trip out to Nassau or the Meadowlands. However, since becoming the only member of the Deeg to move over the water to Hoboken, NJ, the trip to Newark for Devils games has become much easier. So on Wednesday night, accompanied by the Scizzette's father (a Devils fan), I ventured out to see the Sabres play live for the first time this season.
These are my observations from the game. I have not looked at any stat lines, read any recaps, watched highlights, or even discussed the game with any members of the blogopolis. This is what I saw and the thoughts that followed. You forget how different it is watching live when you don't get many opportunities to do so. Also, I had a lot to drink last night, so some of my recollections are a bit fuzzy. Actually, I remember very little of the so-called "important hockey details". That's what happens when you have a Peroni, Sixpoint Smoked Baltic Porter, Sixpoint Diesel, Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner, two large Stella's, a Ramstein wheat beer, and finally an Elmer T. Lee bourbon as a nightcap. Thank God for Barcade's
meat and cheese plate, otherwise I might not be standing right now. Blogger row credentials, here I come!